Indian shuttler PV Sindhu is guaranteed an Olympic medal after beating Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in straight games to book her place in the final of the women’s singles competition. Sindhu beat the world No. 6 21-19 21-10 and will now face Spain’s Carolina Marin for the gold. However, if she loses the final, a silver medal is assured for India.
Sindhu was coming into the match after stunning world No. 2 Wang Yihan of China 22-20 21-19 in the quarter-final. The first game began with the ninth-seeded Indian racing to a 4-1 lead. At the mid-game interval she had a five-point advantage leading 11-6. The Japanese cut the deficit to two, still leading 15-17. However, Sindhu did not lose focus and bagged the game 21-19.
The second game began with Sindhu clearly in the driver's seat. Not only was the 21-year-old playing aggressively, her defence too was top-notch. She quickly opened up a 3-1 lead. However, Okuhara came back strongly with some brilliant defensive play to make it 5-5. It was game on with both players fighting it out for every point. At the mid-game break both players looked visibly tired, with Sindhu gaining a one-point advantage at 11-10. As play resumed, Sindhu decided to up the ante and won 10 straight points to make it 19-10. With errors flowing from Okuhara's racquet, Sindhu bagged the game 21-10 and, thereby, the match for a place in the final.
In the first semi-final, Marin beat defending champion Li Xuerui 21-14 21-16. During the match, Li injured her knee and she may not be able to play the bronze medal match. The final is set to take place on Friday at 7:30 pm IST.